journal entries

On Bruises and Lasting Marks, Guest Post by Kristen

Written by Kristen. Follow her on Twitter @kitchentop.

I love getting marked up. I love the little dark fingerprints that fade to yellow on my upper arms, the purple signs of a shoulder bite, the teeth marks on my inner thighs. I don’t crave pain the way some masochists do. I like rough sex and I like when Sinclair brings it all to me, when they hold down my chest with all their weight while their cock’s inside, when they pin my arm behind me without worrying about whether they’re yanking too hard. I like deep, hard punching, especially across my wings, my shoulder blades and upper back, and I like a spanking, and I like when the feeling of floating, when I know I can handle more.

But what I really like are the bruises, bigger and more colorful in the light of day. I like the memory of what we did last night blooming on my skin as I strip for the morning’s shower. I like a big bouquet of them, spread across my shoulders and neck and thighs, proof that someone wanted me so badly they had to grab and bite and sometimes break skin. I like to show them off; when we lived apart, I would text Sinclair pictures of my bruises and we’d both shiver a little at the memory, and sometimes they post them here for the rest of the world to see.

There’s a funny competitive thing among kinky people – “Look how badass I am! I can take more pain than you – just look at the bruises!” – that I sometimes fall prey to. But it does feel like a badge of honor, a symbol of how far I went, how difficult it can be to let your mind go so that pain and pleasure meld and you can’t tell the difference anymore.

And for me it’s something more: yes, I chose this. My feminist boyfriend gave me bruises because I explicitly consented to them, because they made us both feel good, and I am allowed to choose that if I want to. In fact, with informed, aware consent, I can choose whatever I want. It might not be something you would choose for yourself, but that’s real choice, isn’t it? If I can choose to satisfy my desires with freaky shit you’d never want to do, or get a full-sleeve tattoo or plugs in my earlobes, I’m actually thinking through what I want – and getting it – instead of going along with what the world says I should want.

Bruises take work, to give and get. That giant purple mass on my upper arm required consent, negotiation, and enough endorphins (probably generated by some orgasms) that my body was primed to receive pain, courage, and hard biting. That splay of dark angel wings on my back probably took an hour, strong arms, a carefully timed warmup, and significant exertion. They are not evidence of anger or victimhood; they are evidence of skill.

8 thoughts on “On Bruises and Lasting Marks, Guest Post by Kristen”

  1. Sarah says:

    Oh, this is lovely. <3 Thanks, Kristen.

  2. sterhymeswithtree says:

    “It might not be something you would choose for yourself, but that’s real choice, isn’t it?”

    Yes, yes, yes. I’m glad you know what you want, Kristen! And happy to hear you have a partner with skill :-)

    Thanks for claiming this publicly, as a part of your feminist practice.

  3. Shereen says:

    Well said.

  4. Ash says:

    this is beautiful. thank you, kristen.

  5. randy says:

    One of the more insightful essays I’ve read, making so many important points succinctly, ty! :-)

    This is being shared right now, and is a keeper.

  6. rprfemme says:

    What Kristen said!!!! Thank you for this

  7. Relle says:

    Very old post, sorry to comment like this, maybe this won’t be seen! Will you post a “guide” (I guess it would be called) to how your partner leaves bruises, and what kind of impacts and force is required for you? I know it is very different depending on the person, but I don’t seem to bruise easily, and even tips that may not work for me may be helpful to others! The internet is a somewhat difficult place to find mark/bruise play tips, most things I find on kink sites is how to avoid or treat bruises, not how to get them! I’m sure there are many subs like us who very much enjoy visible reminders of our thrilling sexual escapades!

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